On Pleasure and Pain

  • Only Two Feelings - Pleasure and Pain


    Diogenes Laertius Book X - (Yonge): "They say that there are two passions, pleasure and pain, which affect everything alive. And that the one is natural, and the other foreign to our nature; with reference to which all objects of choice and avoidance are judged of. They say also, that there are two kinds of investigation; the one about facts, the other about mere words. And this is as far as an elementary sketch can go—their doctrine about division, and about the criterion."

     

    Cicero - On Ends:  "Every creature, as soon as it is born, seeks after pleasure and delights therein as in its supreme good, while it recoils from pain as its supreme evil, and banishes that, so far as it can, from its own presence, and this it does while still uncorrupted, and while nature herself prompts unbiased and unaffected decisions. So he says we need no reasoning or debate to shew why pleasure is matter for desire, pain for aversion. These facts he thinks are simply perceived, just as the fact that fire is hot, snow is white, and honey sweet, no one of which facts are we bound to support by elaborate arguments; it is enough merely to draw attention to the fact; and there is a difference between proof and formal argument on the one hand and a slight hint and direction of the attention on the other; the one process reveals to us mysteries and things under a veil, so to speak; the other enables us to pronounce upon patent and evident facts. Moreover, seeing that if you deprive a man of his senses there is nothing left to him, it is inevitable that nature herself should be the arbiter of what is in accord with or opposed to nature. Now what facts does she grasp or with what facts is her decision to seek or avoid any particular thing concerned, unless the facts of pleasure and pain?"

     

    Cicero - On Ends: Who can fail to see that there are in the nature of things these three states: one when we are in pleasure, another when we are in pain, the the third, the state in which I am now, and I suppose you too, when we are neither in pain nor in pleasure? ... Do you not see that between these extremes lies a great crowd of men who feel neither delight nor sorrow?" Torquatus: "Not at all, and I affirm that all who are without pain are in pleasure, and in that the fullest possible!" - Cicero's On Ends, Book 2 (V)16

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  • Pleasure Is Desirable - The Alpha and Omega - The Guide of Life

    <hr /> <p><strong>Epicurus' Letter to Menoecus [129]:</strong>- And for this cause we call pleasure the beginning and end of the blessed life. For we recognize pleasure as the first good innate in us, and from pleasure we begin every act of choice and avoidance, and to pleasure we return again, using the feeling as the standard by which we judge every good.</p>

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  • Pleasure Is Present Where Pain Is Absent

    The Relationship of Pleasure To Absence of Pain And Disturbance

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  • The Limit of Quantity Of Pleasure Is Reached When All Pain Is Eliminated


    PD03:  The limit of quantity in pleasures is the removal of all that is painful. Wherever pleasure is present, as long as it is there, there is neither pain of body, nor of mind, nor of both at once.

     

    For related discussion see Principal Doctrine Three.

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